Photo Credit: Joey Williamson, ©2016 HGIC, Clemson Extension
Spring is here and everyone’s dreaming of green lawns and abundant gardens. If you aren’t careful, however, achieving these dreams can be detrimental to our environment and the health of people and animals. Fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorous, which can contribute to nutrient pollution and toxic algal blooms if not properly used.
Before heading to the store and making pricey purchases, take advantage of a free soil test. Soil tests help determine the right amount and type of fertilizer your yard needs, saving you money and reducing the likelihood of heavy rains carrying these pollutants to the Reedy River and other local waterways.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nutrient pollution is one of the most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems facing our country. Nutrient pollution and algal blooms take a toll on the economy, hurting industries and sectors that depend on clean water. That’s why the Reedy River Water Quality Group (RRWQG) is sponsoring free soil tests. The soil test (an $18 value) includes Clemson’s standard soil test, as well as a test for nitrogen and organic matter.
If your soil test indicates that your yard or garden requires fertilizer, consider buying a slow-release product and avoid applying before heavy rain, on slopes, near bodies of water or storm drains. If you live near a waterway, avoid fertilizing the first 50 feet of shoreline.
Where to get your free soil test
The RRWQG will be handing out soil test kits (this includes Clemson’s soil sample bag, instructions, and a coupon) at Greenville County’s 2nd Annual March Into Earth Day event. This event is being held at County Square in Suite 400 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27th. Can’t make it to the event? Don’t worry – you can drop by the Greenville County Soil & Water Conservation District’s office (Suite 4800 at County Square) on weekdays between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. while supplies last.
The Reedy River Water Quality Group has one mission. We want to protect, preserve, and improve water quality in the Reedy River. To do this, we’ve gathered local city and county agencies, conservation groups, and area citizens to work together toward reducing the amount of nutrients flowing into the Reedy. To learn more about the Reedy River Water Quality Group, visit: www.cleanreedy.org.
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